DARE: Do something amazing and don’t post it to Facebook. Don’t even tell anyone. Volunteer at a charity, help a struggling friend, perform a random act of kindness and do not tell a soul.
We live in an era of the ego, a time dominated by “pics or it didn’t happen”. While sharing good news can connect you with others (and sharing bad news can spread negative emotions), it seems like people are obsessed with publishing every kind deed or goal that they accomplish.
Are you losing sight of what truly makes you happy in order to look good to other people?
Think about a large goal that you have had for a while that seems to be stuck. Perhaps you want to write a book, travel to France, start a family, take your career to the next level, go back to school, move to a new city or learn a new language.
Now ask yourself this:
- Would you have the same goal if no one on earth knew about it?
- Would you have the same goal if all of your friends thought it was a stupid idea?
- Would you have the same goal if you could never reach the finish line and could only enjoy the journey of experience?
- Would you have the same goal if you could never tell anyone about it or post it to any of your social network sites once it was completed?
Are you doing what truly makes you happy, or what you think sounds good to other people? Is it your goal, or your ego’s?
It can be difficult to realize that your life has been usurped by your ego. Imagine the doctor who realizes halfway through her career that she doesn’t like touching people, or even dealing with them. She chose to become a doctor because the profession is one that everyone respects. It sounds good to everyone, but it doesn’t feel good to her. Does she change courses or continue on what she knows is the wrong path?
Do you make the difficult changes that are necessary to recreate your life? Or do you put your head down and continue on? Change can be particularly difficult for people pleasers, those agreeable souls for whom personal happiness is linked with making others happy as well.
You can always choose to begin again. It may not be the easiest or most comfortable decision to make, but life is far too short to spend your days in pursuit of goals that only appeal to your ego. While egos are necessary to interact in social groups, basing your life on other people’s opinions is a quick way to end up sad and frustrated.
If you truly want to do something in life, you will find the time. And if you don’t want to do something, you will find an excuse. What excuses are you making today for not doing those things you supposedly want to do?
As the year nears its end, the time is ripe to take a good, hard look at our goals, as well as our past failures. Look again at the questions asked above on the bullet points, and think about what you could answer “yes” on every single one. Decide if your goals are in line or need to be reset, and don’t waste one minute bemoaning the past – your future is waiting.
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Image: visual panic